"Lions and Tigers and Pears - Oh Deer!!"

Real Estate Broker/Owner with ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors


Rural life has great benefits - clean air, beautiful views, and elbow room for the soul. But it also has its share of hazards: Lions (Mountain), and Tigers (Lilies - toxic to pets) and Pears! (Well, Pears are not exactly hazardous, but they can lead to frustration and disappointment.)

Here's the story: 

Earlier this year, we posted a video explaining how to prune fruit trees for better production. After that demo, spring brought excellent results - full, bright blossoms that promised a bounty of apples and pears.  


I (Bernie) continued to prune unwanted sprouts, spray with organic oil, and generally ensure there were no bugs.  I also took the additional precaution of placing mesh bags over the fruit as it started to form - this was mostly to ward off the large wasps that showed up last year at the end of the season. 


As the season continued with exceptional weather the trees produced large clusters of fruit that grew and started to ripen.  (Unfortunately, there's no photo, so you'll just have to trust me on this.)  I was extremely excited that we would have an exceptional variety of fresh, organic fruit this year. I even started researching different recipes for preserving them.


Then one morning, I walked out to the trees and poof!!!

Every single fruit was gone!!


To add insult to injury, the nasty marauders left chewed-up bags - the very bags designed to protect the fruit!!

AAARRGGHH!  So there I was, like Yosemite Sam, stomping around, shaking my fists, mumbling pseudo-curses "racken fracken, ya dirty varmint, why I'm gonna getcha." And so forth...


After continuing in that vein, mumbling to myself for quite a while, I eventually settled down. It dawned on me the raiders were the family of deer we often see on the property. And who could blame them? I had carefully prepared an all-you-can-eat buffet, then graciously presented it in an easy-to-reach, help-yourself arrangement.  I should know better. When living with wildlife, you have to anticipate such things, and I had (naively) assumed that the small fences I had were sufficient. The lesson is: never leave anything to chance.  So, what can I do to prevent this from happening next year?


I immediately set out searching the internet for the best solution. And I was a little shocked at the vast range of options - from dangling soap and hanging noise makers to wolf urine and commercial repellent to (Gasp!) hunting! Yes, one web site actually suggested shooting them for game. But we're more gatherers than hunters. So after rejecting the options, including repellents (they small like rotten meat) I settled on Occam's Razor - "the simplest solution is usually the best" - a taller fence. Doh! I already had fences - just add to them!


I guess we'll see how that works next year.  In the meantime, Debb reminds me that the deer are a gift from our "nature as neighbors" surroundings. And if I'm really craving a pear, there are plenty of them at our local Farmers Markets. 


Posted by


ViewHomes™ grew out of our passion for nature, beautiful surroundings, and peaceful environments. Starting together in an urban environment, over the years we've gravitated towards areas with smaller populations and less density. We now enjoy our lifestyle in a rural environment, but with close proximity to metropolitan areas where we appreciate all the amenities of fine restaurants, shopping, and an easy drive to an international airport.
Living in ViewHomes™ is like having “elbowroom for the soul”.







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Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


We netted in Los Angeles, it may be the birds in your case as they do like the sweet stuff.  Net away, if you want to eat fruit.  A

Oct 05, 2019 10:57 AM #13
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Bernie,
Hopefully, over the next few years your trees will grow and grow and not be such easy pickins for the deer.  That must have been quite a disappointment when you saw the tree had been stripped of your beautiful pears. 

Oct 05, 2019 11:39 AM #14
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD - Love! Love! Love! this story Bernie! I got a clear vision of you stomping around cursing when you saw your fruit tree was attacked with the fruit eaten. And to pour salt on your open wounds there, on the ground lay the netting you so carefully wrapped around the fruit, all chewed up. In my crazy imagination, I could see the deer in hiding, chuckling, big daddy deer telling his doe stories about silly humans. Mother nature and her wild kingdom continuously teach and so we learn - there's always next year. 

Oct 05, 2019 01:01 PM #15
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD - That was a GREAT title too!!!

Oct 05, 2019 01:02 PM #16
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

I have not properly pruned our dahlias this year and some of them are taller than I am. I am cutting flowers every day as we near the end of the season.

Oct 05, 2019 04:39 PM #17
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good moring Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD - Bernie, I feel your pain.  We have lost some beautiful shrubs because the deer found them to be very tasty.

Oct 06, 2019 06:08 AM #18
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Carol Williams and Roy Kelley - The real dilemma is to prune the trees so the fruit stays low, but that makes them available fo the deer.  Just like the dahlias!

Oct 06, 2019 07:48 AM #19
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP Thank you for your comments.  Your additional scene with the deer family cracked me up!  So true!

Oct 06, 2019 07:49 AM #20
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Grant Schneider Yes, it's unbelievable what they will eat.  But that's nature, I guess!


Oct 06, 2019 07:50 AM #21
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Bernie (and Debb):

Well, I had to chuckle at your misfortune, I'm afraid, especially after all that hard work!! Yep, deer can be pretty destructive given what they can and will eat.


Oct 06, 2019 11:28 AM #22
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Deer are often not soooo Dear....being flowerless in some areas of our yard !

Oct 06, 2019 12:50 PM #23
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

I hope you are enjoying the weekend.

Have a very productive week.

Oct 06, 2019 01:41 PM #24
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Hi Debb and Bernie,  We have had years where our fruit trees produced abundantly and other years when we got very little - without changing what we did for them.  Deer can be problems in so many ways.  Wishing you a more successful season next year.

Oct 06, 2019 08:47 PM #25
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Home and Condo Specialists

The deer population in our neighborhood keeps growing, unlike our veggies that Larry had grown and almost ripe and picked for our table. Oh Deer...you could have dined on our lovely flowering plants around our yard and not OUR FOOD!

Oct 07, 2019 04:09 AM #26
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Two homes ago we had up to 24 deer at least twice a day in our yard. We LOVED seeing them and we miss them. We didn't have any fruit trees to worry about. The only damage they did in our yard was to the hosta. My husband took care of that when he started going out each evening and peeing around them. LOL

It worked. Probably not something you want to do around your fruit, I know.

Oct 07, 2019 06:02 AM #27
Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Solutions - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

We have huge issues with deer. I love my flowers and decided I would use the spray to keep them away. It stinks for about 15 minutes {and boy, howdy, does it} but they leave the flowers alone and it doesn't harm them. And they still come and make their messes in my yard . But it's fun to have them around and it's been my best solution. (My back patio)

Oct 07, 2019 11:20 AM #28
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Is it ok if I admit I actually chuckled at this story, Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD?  I'll at least admit to a bit of guilt over doing it ...  


Oct 08, 2019 09:20 AM #29
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Bernie (and you too Debb)  I can't believe I missed this one!  Do love Debb's response because, let's face it, it's nature! Larry put out fresh meal worms because he thinks that they may build another nest. 

The mockingbird swooped in to eat some and has been eating voraciously. I suggested that the mockingbird could have a nest as well and may be feeding his/her babies! 

But don't we love getting to observe everything going on. 

So next year...can't wait to see what happens with your fruit trees!!!

Oct 08, 2019 11:19 AM #30
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Wow that's a tough problem.  So glad we don't have to deal with deer in our garden...

Oct 15, 2019 02:59 PM #39
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Wow what a story, so glad I found this post, ironically I had to smile at your misfortune about the fruit.... we have three Orange Trees and a Tangerine Tree where in our case the Squirrels come and eat the fruit, gratefully we have so much fruit that we still have many to give away.... Keep us posted how next year will turn out, Endre

Nov 02, 2019 01:53 PM #56
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REALTORS® in Clark County, WA
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